PRESS RELEASE: Treasury Minister to deliver keynote speech at financial inclusion conference launching new FCA research

May 24, 2016

The Financial Inclusion Commission is delighted that Harriett Baldwin MP, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, will today be giving the keynote address at a special conference on Financial Inclusion.

The conference will see the launch of a new independent Occasional Paper commissioned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on “Access to Financial Services”.

The minister will outline the government’s specific commitment to financial inclusion, in what is the first speech of its kind by this government.

As well as the minister, speakers at the event will include politicians, regulators, the third sector and industry, to consider the problems consumers face when accessing financial services and what more can be done to eliminate the persistent barriers people face. 

The Occasional Paper was specifically commissioned by the FCA to act as an independent think piece from leading academics and FCA staff, in order to learn more about what it is like to be financially excluded in the UK today.

Sherard Cowper Coles, Chair of the Financial Inclusion Commission said:

“The Financial Inclusion Commission is delighted that the Government will deliver its first speech on financial inclusion, at this unprecedented conference. The Commission is proud to support the work of the FCA in further examining access issues in financial services. For too many, unnecessary barriers remain when accessing financial products, and it is important that we overcome these, in particular by enhancing the nation’s financial capability. The Commission is committed to working with stakeholders across the political, regulatory and industry spectrum to highlight financial inclusion, of which access issues form a key part.”

FCA occasional papers are independently authored research projects, which aim to encourage debate on all aspects of financial regulation and to creating rigorous evidence to support its decision-making.

This new paper looks at brings together a range of issues within financial inclusion and culminates in a series of questions for the regulator and other stakeholders to consider on what more can be done to enhance consumers’ access to financial services.

The paper was authored by Sharon Collard, Professor of Personal Finance Capability at the Open University, Jonquil Lowe, Lecturer in Personal Finance at The Open University; and Martin Coppack and Simon Sarker, FCA Consumer Insight Department. Martin Coppack and Sharon Collard are also both members of the Financial Inclusion Commission.  


About The Financial Inclusion Commission

The Financial Inclusion Commission is an independent body, made up of parliamentarians from all main parties, as well as experts and senior representatives from the financial services industry, and not-for-profit organisations (see full list below). The Commission’s aim is to raise the profile of financial inclusion in the UK, and act as a body for coordination and leadership. The Commission is supported by MasterCard, but remains wholly independent. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter (@UKFinclusion).


Laura Sainsbury, FTI Consulting

+44 (0)754 530 0236


List of Financial Inclusion Commissioners

Sir Sherard- Cowper Coles KCMG LVO

Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive of HSBC Holdings

Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE

Former Chairman of the Treasury's Financial Inclusion Taskforce

Chris Pond

Former Labour MP, Treasury and DWP Minister

Jeremy Quin MP

Conservative MP for Horsham

George Kerevan MP

Scottish National Party MP for East Lothian

Lord Wilf Stevenson

Labour Shadow Business Minister

Lord Archy Kirkwood

Former Liberal Democrat MP

Professor Sharon Collard

Professor of Personal Finance Capability- Open University

Martin Coppack

Head of Partnerships- Financial Conduct Authority

Laurie Edmans CBE

Non-Executive Director, Money Advice Service

Sian Williams

Head of National Services, Toynbee Hall

Dr Omar Khan

Director- Runneymede Trust

Dame Mary Marsh

Founding Director- Clore Social Leadership Programme